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Outerlands

On Sunday, I went to visit San Francisco and ate with my family at a restaurant called Outerlands. It was a really popular place, we arrived there at 11:30 and the waiter said the wait would be about two hours. Luckily it was by the beach so we decided to wait. We walked along Judah street and all the way down and reached the beach. It was a beautiful day with plenty of sunshine. Although we didn’t go into the waters, it was fun watching the surfers catch waves. After enjoying the beach, we strolled back to the restaurant. We waited another half an hour before going in.

My sister and I ordered a lemon ginger apple cider because it seemed very abnormal. It was surprisingly delicious. It had a strong ginger taste (you can tasted a bit of the grated ginger) but sweet enough so that it balanced the spiciness. After one sip, the ginger helps warm up the throat, which felt really good. Although you can order this hot or cold, I recommend getting in hot.

I ordered the Dutch Pancake with strawberries. Not only was the shape interesting, the taste was very unexpected too. It tasted very much like french toasts. With maple syrup, it was really yummy.

My sister ordered something called eggs in jail. They dug a little hole in the bread and cooked the egg in the hole, covered it with bacon strips, and topped it with the dug-out bread. The moment my sister cut the bread open, the egg yolk immediately started flowing outwards. It was pretty good to eat the bread with some bacon after dipping it in the egg yolk.

My dad ordered a fried egg sandwich, which was kind of similar to the eggs in jail. It had the same bread, but topped with ham, cheese, and two eggs.

My mom ordered the pouched eggs. It had a corn meal porridge type thing as a base with two pouched eggs and some braised veggies. The corn meal porridge had a bit of taste of butter that made it nice and creamy. The eggs were very soft and the egg yolk  was not fully cooked like all the other egg dishes we ordered. If you like under cooked yolk, you’ll definitely enjoy this place. 

Overall, I had a very enjoyable dining experience at Outerlands. The wait was a bit tedious, but around 1pm it’s a bit faster since it’s closer to the closing time if anyone wants to try this place out.

La Maison

Hi everyone! I know it’s been a while since I’ve written anything as the past few months have been quite hectic for me. After ending school in June, I was in Taiwan for a month, and then came to Japan to begin my study abroad journey. For the past month or two I’ve been going to many places in Japan, but today I think I want to blog about this dessert place that I went with AQ located in Parco in Shibuya. The store is called “La Maison” and it was a small cafe with light meals as well as different kinds of fruit tarts.

I ended up ordering the white peach tart along with a pot of tea called something along the line of “Strawberry Pink,” which had hibiscus, strawberry, rose, etc.

Both the tart and the tea turned out really good, and I think it was probably around 1000yen or so but I can’t quite remember. The tea smelled really good and the tart had both the cake and the tart structure which made it different from most tarts I’ve had.

AQ ordered a mango tart with crepe skin and iced coffee, which had a mango cut into the shape of a star and a layer of chocolate cake in the middle. Not only did the tart look good, but it actually also tasted amazing.

Finished this nice afternoon tea with my Strawberry Pink tea, and I really enjoyed the food and the atmosphere of the cafe. I highly recommend in checking it out! I will try to post more of my food adventures from Japan in the future, and I apologize for the long gaps between my posts…. Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed looking at the pictures!

Weekend Trip to Kenting

This weekend has truly been amazing. A few weeks ago, my friend Mark invited me to a trip to Kenting with many others from the Taiwan Tech Trek program. At first I was a bit reluctant to go becuase out of the 20 people going, I only knew maybe 3 or 4 people. But I ended up going anyway and I definitely had a blast. I am currently using the laptop at work to type up this post (yep, this is what I do at work) so I won’t be able to post any pictures, but I will get to that as soon as I get my hands on my own laptop.

After work on Friday, I headed to Taipei main to catch the HSR with some other people. The HSR took only 1 1/2 hour to get to Zuoying. We then took a “taxi” to Kenting. Because we had nine people, the taxi was a little shuttle bus. Once he started driving,  I was getting kind of scared. Our driver was breaking every traffic rule you could think of (running red lights, using the bike lane to pass another car, speeding, not letting the firetruck/ambulance go, driving in the middle of two lanes, crossing double lanes, you name it!) But nevertheless we got to our hostel safely. The hostel was pretty small and ghetto( but it was bearable for two nights..). By the time we got there it was maybe 10pm, but several people wanted to go to the Kenting Strip/Night Market, so 15 or so of us cramped into the little bus and got dropped off . I really like how festive and lively the strip was. Although it was late, there were still a decent amount of people. After visiting the strip we went to the beach for a little bit. After coming back from the beach, it was a battle trying to fight for the showers, but luckily me and two others walked back first and got to shower first before everyone else. Afterwards, we just talked a bit and went to bed. Our “bed” was literally a flat straw mat on the hard floor, but since it was wayyy past my normal bed time, I fell asleep pretty quickly.

The next day, most of us got up around 10. We tried to rent mopeds so we could get around more easily. However, because we were all “foreigners,” the moped costed a lot more, so we ended up renting motored bikes. I decided to be a passenger because I didn’t truust myself driving it in Taiwan and I really thank Eric and Codey for letting me ride behind them during this trip, thanks guys! We ended up eating lunch at a random place after finally figuring out all the rides. After lunch, we went to the beach to play. After splashing around in the waves for a bit, I went to do some water activities. It was 600NT to do 3 activities. I ended up choosing jet ski, banana boat, and this other one called big foot. First, they sent us out into th ocean using the jet ski, meanwhile they drove really fast and twisted and turned so it was really exciting. At one point we end rode on a wave and dropped down from it. Kind of scary, but superrr fun. Then, we got on the big foot ride. It was like sitting on a big floating chair and getting dragged around by the jet ski. It felt like we were getting bounced up and down by the waves. This one was not as exciting, but fun nevertheless. Lastly, we went on the banana boat. The driver immediately asked if we wanted to get thrown off. I was kind of uneasy about getting thrown into the water, but said okay. I was super nervous the whole time I was on the boat because I could the driver turn his jet ski, the signal that we will soon be in the waters. The first turn, I think I could have held on because it wasn’t too sharp of a turn, but the driver had told us to let go when you’re suppose to fall into the water so I did. BAD DECISION. My bottom of my tankini almost completely came off and I quickly pulled it back off before they came to the rescue. PHEW. I begged the driver not to do it again, but he said it was too late. The next turn, I fell into the water, almost hitting my friend Codey, but thanks to the water, I didn’t knock him out. I really didn’t want to get thrown off anymore, but Codey did. So we had our last round. This time I held on tight, and was able to stay on the banana boat. I was so proud at myself. As I turn to see Codey in the waters however, I felt a jerk. The next thing I knew, I was in rolling across the bananaa boat before hitting the ocean. We were sent back on the beach by the exciting jet ski. After showering and changing, a group of us decided to go Go-Karting. it was only 100NT but took a while for all 10 of us to be able to be in the same race at a time. I have never been karting before so it was pretty fun. It was harder than I thought because the wheels were stiffer than I had thought, so it was pretty hard to control the movements of the kart. I am just glad I didn’t run into anything. But I did have some almost-accidents because the guys loved cutting people off. It was a short session but it was worth it. It’s not everyday that you get to drive like a mad person haha. Afterwards, we just went to the strip again for a night-market-dinner. After everyone finished and met up, we headed to the beach again. This time, we had fireworks :] Although I didn’t really set off any of them, it was nice just to see them blast of into the sky.  A few guys were bought everyone matching shirts (we paid them 150NT back for it though) so we all had tanks saying Kenting and took group pictures. Afterwards, I just went back and showered, but some people ended up going to the light house. I was going to go but our bike was running low on battery so we didn’t want to risk it.

Most people slept around 4am, but we all woke up around 10 because we had to “check out” at 10:30. We eneded up paying one room just as storage because we didn’t want to have to carry out luggages everywhere. We also had to extend our hours for the bikes. (it felt like both the hostel ladies and the bike place was trying to rip us of because they knew we needed what they had). After figuring out those stuff we went to eat lunch at a Thai place. Because 12 of us had planned to leave kenting around 3, we wanted to something before we had to leave. Many people wanted to go Go-Karting again, but we ended up not because the line was too long. We ended up going to this place where they had ATV and Hamster Ball. Six of us chose to do ATV while the others did hamster ball. It was 600NT per ATV car for half an hour, so I thought it was reasonable (the guy went overtime too). In the beginning I was passenger again, but Codey decided to let me try driving. BAD BAD BAD DECISION. Within the span of 10 minutes, I had three accidents. Yes, three. First, I ran my car into my friend Jame’s ATV. The two cars were stuck together and took some effort to seperate. I also ran into a ditch twice, both times almost hitting a tree. … After running into the ditch a second time, I was banned from driving. I agreed, it was way to dangerous for me to be driving. Honestly, I don’t think it’s because I can’t drive, it’s just my arms were too short that I couldn’t really turn the car completely, also  the breaks were soo stiff that even breaking at my hardest, I was moving. Bleghh. Whatever. It was fun though. Afterwards, we all headed back to the hostel and got picked up by our same crazy driver back to the HSR station. This concluded my Kenting trip.

It’s been three weeks since I have been in Taiwan. I have been interning at the Bureau of Health Promotion for about two weeks now. All I have done so far: Sit in a cubicle for 8 hours a day with a laptop. Here are some things that you can do to keep yourself busy if you’re stuck in the same position as me.

1. StumbleUpon (http://www.stumbleupon.com/home/)
On this website, you can select your interests (such as health, beauty, design, sports, and etc.) and it will give you articles/videos/pictures that are related to your interests for you to browse through.

2. Typeracer (http://play.typeracer.com/)
A global typing competition. You can play free typing games and compete against your friends. Personally, I can’t type for my life so this is an awesome place for me to practice typing more consistently and quickly.

3. Weekly Health Quiz on New York Times
Discovered this today, but it’s a fun little quiz to learn about some recent health findings and etc. The health section is just interesting to read for me, so if you’re not interested it may not entertain you as much as it does for me.

4. Watch movies on Megavideo (http://www.megavideomovies.net/)
Unless someone comes around to check what you’re doing every now and then, this is an awesome way to kill time.

5. Youtube, Facebook, Instant Messenger, you name it.
I listen to music on youtube because Pandora doesn’t work in Taiwan ): I also watch random videos from time to time (check out Axis of Awesome if you’ve never heard of them). I’m on Facebook pretty much all day at work… It’s really sad but it is a good time killer. Lastly, chatting with friends is always fun.

… Or you can just sit there and sulk about how life sucks, which I did on the first week of work (everything changed when I had internet access though).

 I am now off to my 8hr day in my little cubicle. Byee.

Tian Cai (添財)

Hey guys, sorry that I haven’t updated in a long time! Today I just wanted to introduce a place that I always visit every time I go back to Taiwan. The place is called Tian Cai and its an old Japanese cuisine restaurant that’s been around for years. I used to always go there with my parents and eat Ten Don and Oden. They are quite famous with their Oden and its something that you must try when you go there.

There are two stores, but the one I usually go to is in a small, narrow street and could be hard to find for people who don’t know the area well enough, and the store is pretty busy during lunch hours since a lot of office people go to the restaurant.

Inside the store

Oden

Usually people order the Oden first, kind of as an appetizer, and the workers will cut it and deliver it to your table. This time I went, I decided to order Ten Don again and my mom ordered a Mackerel Fish Teishoku. It was still pretty good but we ordered too much and couldn’t finish everything.

Ten Don

Mackerel Teishoku

If you ever visit Taiwan, it would be nice to go give this place a try!

After a busy quarter, I ended my sophomore year in UCSD with a nice trip to the Mission Bay area. I had planned this trip a few weeks before everything started to wrap up. I had two free tickets to Sea World (thanks to my apartment-mate JW) as well as a voucher for Moonlight Kayaking that I bought from BuyWithMe. Though the weather that day wasn’t so great, AL and I enjoyed our day at Sea World. We saw four shows: Pet’s Rule!, One Ocean, Blue Horizons, and Cirque de la Mer. Personally, One ocean and blue horizons were okay because I didn’t really like the cheesy songs they singed/played and the tone of the show. It seemed like the target audience was for kids and their parents. I would recommend watching Pet’s Rule! and Cirque de la Mer more. But the shamu whales were definitely very cute.

Awesome acrobats from the Cirque de la Mer show. Not to mention their awesome six packs.

I was also able to see the feeding of piranha, but it wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. They basically inserted a dead medium sized fish into the water and the piranha sort of attacked it. I am guessing the piranha weren’t so hungry so they didn’t really eat much of the fish, it was a little disappointing but cool nevertheless. After sea world, AL and I went to the mission bay aquatic center to do some moonlight kayaking. Our instructor, Conner, was nice and funny. He helped us get the equipments ready and kayaked with us around the bay. I must say, kayaking was harder than I thought and my arms were kind of sore the next day. But the night view of the city around the the bay and the experience was absolutely amazing. I would definitely do it again if I come across another good deal!

A big warning for first time moonlight kayakers… YOU WILL GET SOAKED!

 

That’s it for now!

Welcome Photog

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Welcome love. Here is your shiny new tools. Your D200. Make sure to take tons of pictures of your friends, fashion, and places you’ll be in the coming year. So much to be excited about.  Now you can agonize over photos as much as I do. XD